Monday, December 29, 2008

Christian Harmonizers (featuring B. Gordon) - Brightly Bean (Rae-Cox 105)

Brightly Bean


This marvelous record represents Benny Gordon's first appearance on vinyl. He told me that when the Harmonizers performed it at the Apollo in 1962, they just brought down the house. They were so good, he said, that they were fired, as the rest of the acts on the bill refused to follow them!

The next day, he was summoned to Harlem to meet with Swan Silvertones founder Claude Jeter. He was scared to death. It was nothing personal, Jeter told him, but that they just couldn't abide having a young kid like Benny upstaging them night after night. That was when he decided to 'cross-over', he told me...

It was later covered by the Brooklyn All-Stars (as 'Brightly Beams', which is no doubt the actual title), and Benny was re-united with them this past summer as they celebrated their fiftieth anniversary at the Mt. Zion Church in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

Benny had a dream, he told me, that he was being called to sing Brightly Bean one more time.

I'm sure that is just what he is doing today.

May God rest his soul.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Soul Stirrers - Christmas Joy (Checker 5007)

Christmas Joy

Here's a gem written by Arthur Crume shortly after he joined The Soul Stirrers in 1965. Produced by Sonny Thompson, it just doesn't get much better than this.

Merry Christmas, everybody!